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Cheptegei to target 10K world record in Valencia

If all goes to plan, we could see the 10,000m and cross-country world champion take down the 10K mark on December 1

Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, the reigning world champion over 10,000m as well as cross-country, announced he will be looking to set a new world record at the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, to be held in conjunction with the Valencia Marathon on December 1. This is the last time the event will be run. Cheptegei already holds the world record in the 15K, which he set a year ago in the Netherlands, winning the Seven Hills race in Nijmegen for the fourth time, in 41:05. Cheptegei is 23.

In winning the 10,000m in Doha on October 6 in a world-leading 26:48.3, the Ugandan won his country’s first-ever gold medal in that event, though he also took gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games over both 5,000m and 10,000m and set a new Games Record in the 10. He is the only person besides the great Kenenisa Bekele to win both the world cross-country title and the world or Olympic 10,000m title in the same year (Bekele did it three times in a row–in 2003, 2004 and 2005).

RELATED: Joshua Cheptegei sets 15K world record

The current 10K world record was set by Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya at 26:44 at Utrecht in the Netherlands in 2010, and it was Komon who held the previous record in the 15K also.

Cheptegei is a member of the NN Running Team, which also includes marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and several of the men who paced him at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, where he successfully ran the marathon distance in 1:59:40.

RELATED: Kipchoge vs. Bekele: Who comes out on top?

Cheptegei has been nominated for IAAF Male Athlete of the Year, the first Ugandan to be honoured in this way.